Technology | Media | Telecommunications

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Demand for Enterprise Rights Management

Enterprise Rights Management (ERM) is growing in importance, driven by a need for better security. A few examples make the compelling business case.

A US government consultant accessed the passwords of 38,000 FBI employees. The UK's department of Revenue and Customs lost discs containing personal information of 25 million Britons.

Laptops containing sensitive data -- in one case the Social Security numbers of up to 26 million US military veterans -- seem to be lost or stolen with alarming regularity. On this backdrop, a new study by ABI Research addresses the market for information security in the enterprise.

"The confidential data held by businesses and other organizations has never been more critical or less secure, especially in light of the trend to outsourcing and off-shoring," says ABI Research industry analyst Zippy Aima.

"Until recently, many companies were rather unaware of the need for higher security. Now, however, the consequences of data loss -- compromised commercial strategies, financial liability, tarnished brand image, violation of government regulations and more -- are better understood, and the market for Enterprise Rights Management is growing steadily, with expected revenues of $450 million in 2013."

The manufacturing, financial, healthcare, government, and life sciences sectors are apparently ERM's early adopters.

ERM operates at the level of the individual document, generally using a client-server model to attach rights and restrictions to specific files. Also, at least one vendor has hinted at offering ERM as a hosted service.

Although ERM implementations are found in Asia and Europe, the bulk of demand and revenue come from the United States.